A "brazen" barber has been jailed for 18 months after attacking a man with a boxcutter in front of terrified shoppers, including children, at a Tuggeranong mall.
James Gary Taylor, 24, fronted the ACT Magistrates Court for sentencing on Monday afternoon, sporting a rat's tail, a green jacket and bright red shoes.
He turned his head on multiple occasions to snarl at this reporter and click his fingers angrily, with his mouth moving furiously behind a face mask.
The Chisholm man had previously pleaded guilty to charges of using an offensive weapon in circumstances likely to endanger human life, assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and possessing a knife in public without a reasonable excuse.
Agreed facts show Taylor was at the South.Point Tuggeranong shopping centre in late June when his female companion pointed out the victim.
The woman alleged this man had assaulted her in the past, so Taylor followed him down an escalator and said words to the effect of: "Let's sort this shit out."
Outside the Rebel Sport store, he then pulled a boxcutter from his jacket pocket and tried to stab and slash at the man with it.
Taylor eventually struck the victim on his left cheek and upper neck area, causing a 10-centimetre laceration. He also cut one of the victim's fingers with the weapon.
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Prosecutor Lauren Knobel told the court the attack was "serious, brazen, unanticipated [and] unprovoked".
She said Taylor had targeted vulnerable parts of the victim's body and it was "mere good luck" the injuries to those areas had been relatively superficial.
Ms Knobel added that a member of public had tried to stop the attack, but Taylor had continued as elderly people and children looked on in horror.
She said Taylor had shown "a complete lack of insight" ever since, having told police following his arrest that he wished he had the hit the victim in the jugular.
Taylor also told a pre-sentence report author he was "within his rights" to do what he did.
Taylor's Legal Aid lawyer, Benjamin Rutzou, described the offending as "an aberration of his character".
He argued an intensive correction order would be appropriate for reasons including Taylor's relative youth and the lack of violence on the 24-year-old's criminal record.
Magistrate James Lawton disagreed, saying he needed to impose a sentence of full-time imprisonment to deter Taylor and others from this sort of "very serious" offending.
The magistrate said whatever Taylor's motivation had been, "it in no way justified the actions he engaged in".
"[People] must know that if they engage in weapon fights in public places, they will suffer consequences which will require them to go to jail," Mr Lawton said.
He imposed a non-parole period of nine months, along with a $2000 fine.
With time already served, Taylor will become eligible for release in March next year.
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